Saturday, March 12, 2011

Images From Lake Titiwangsa Part 1

There are a few bustling capitals in the world without a natural body of water - a river, a lake - straddling a part of the metropolis. Kuala Lumpur is one of them. Some would argue that KL has direct tributaries of the Klang and Gombak Rivers, but if you see them coursing through the asphalt jungle, these are mere "streams". See this confluence here:

However, these smart Malays knew they needed a riverine space, a green lung where children can breathe fresher air and people can see trickles of waves. So... they made two lakes. The (relatively) smaller one is the KL Lake Gardens (Tasik Perdana) near the House of Parliament and KL Aviary. The second, and more ambitious one, is the immense span of Taman Tasik Titiwangsa - or Lake Titiwangsa.

For more than a hundred years, Malaysia was a tin mining giant that gradually depleted the natural treasures of its environment. The long years of mining activity in Malaysia left its lands with large numbers of ponds, sinkholes, and tin tailings or waste rock from mining operations. Tin tailings make lands unsuitable for agricultural purposes. But once they realized the possible repercussions, they have gradually rehabilitated what would be an ecological wasteland. Isn't it a wonder why KL is now one of the most environmentally-sound cities in Asia? It is further aided by the equatorial weather of the region, providing warm and sunny weather to tourists all year round.


This particular tasik (lake) located north of KL provides picture-perfect sites and postcard-pretty areas. If you have enough time, you can leisurely walk around the span of the lake in more than two hours, providing you make curious stops at interesting sites - check out the jogging trail, or taste the spicy sweet Rojak (a mixture of seasonal fruits dipped in a spicy and very sweet molasses-like sauce); you can just stare at the set of fountains; people-watching; take the children to the colorful playground filled with a bevy of recreational accoutrement (slides, playhouses, swings, see-saw) carefully set with puzzle-styled foam floors for safety; you can row a boat to navigate the lake; take your lover for a romantic picnic; go jogging; read a book at one of the solitary benches; explore and perfect your photographic acumen. The possibilities are endless!

I would emphasize that navigating the circumference of the whole lake is recommended only if you're fit enough to complete the planned circumnavigation - because once you've reached the "bridge", you're not quite halfway through, and it's a long way back to the common starting point (if you're coming from the Istana Budaya area). The best thing about it? It's free!

If you want a pop culture reference to your visit here, you can find the bench where John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo sat beside each other - contemplatively - as they examine their relationship in Cathy Garcia Molina's "Miss You Like Crazy". Check out this particular site below. From this particular site, you can see the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower and the Istana Budaya.

I've always wanted to visit Lake Titiwangsa, but it took me sometime to get here. Though I have huffed and puffed about the difficulties of getting to this lake (please read our previous post), there was actually an easier way to get here. Upon reaching Titiwangsa Area from KL city center via Monorail (train), you can either walk (30 minutes or so) or you can get a taxi. I walked going to the lake and back, but on my second visit just 4 months after my first time, I took the taxi back to Titiwangsa Train Station. We know that using the meter is risky if you're not familiar with the area, so I asked the driver how much. It felt prudent to agree on a price than take risks.

Me: How much from here (Jalan Kuantan) to Titiwangsa Train Station?
Driver: Five (5) ringgit!
Me: Five?!!
Driver: (He just nodded, probably thinking I was deaf.)

My legs were fidgeting as I plopped at the back. But from Kuantan Street, the driver just turned and swerved to a single street and in 5 minutes, I was at the station! Yes, 5 ringgit($1.65 or PhP71.60)! Now that I think about it, it must really be possible to walk from the station in 10 minutes - not the 30 minutes I "sacrificed" for!

This is the Eye in the Sky!

The lake water was so clear, you could see the lush algae vegetation down below.

The spot from the movie "Miss You Like Crazy".

That spells "Taman Tasik Titiwangsa" - or Lake Titiwangsa Garden.

Jogging trail

A small store for your cold drinks, mei goreng, a fish cracker, a noodle special or the delicious rojak which is a popular delicacy in this area.

"Blow me, wind, like the tendrils of her hair."


Ola said...

I went through this post with real interest-as I suppose, I will never visit KL, so it was interesting to see its lakes and views. The first picture is esp. amazing! But I also like the fountain in the middle of the lake and other!

Trotter said...

Hi Eye! The pictures are wonderful; and I've been on those towers... ;))

Matisse and Chagall: what a ticket... ;) Confirm it at Blogtrotter Two... Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

eye in the sky said...

@ Ola:

You're a naturally adventurous. I've a hunch you will get to KL and more of Asia in the coming years. Or even sooner.

eye in the sky said...

@ Trotter:

Is there somewhere you haven't visited? Oh yeah, the Philippines. Haha